Description: Mid-level leaders are often expected to implement employee empowerment initiatives, yet many do not have a clear understanding of how to empower employees. To address this issue, a model of empowering leadership was developed. The model presents specific, actionable behaviors that a leader should perform in order to empower employees. The model comprises 13 factors built around the areas of ability, accountability, and authority. First, leaders must ensure employees have the ability to be empowered. To do so, they must (a) build employee organizational knowledge, (b) provide access to pertinent information, (c) assure employees have the necessary skill set, and (d) identify and provide needed resources. Second, leaders must create systems of accountability for employee outcomes by (e) setting a standard of continuous improvement, (f) recognizing and rewarding good work, (g) regularly evaluating employee efforts, and (h) providing continuous feedback on employee efforts. Third, leaders should provide employees with the authority to be empowered by (i) serving as advocates of employee efforts, (j) providing an environment that is conducive to empowerment, (k) setting a clear and consistent direction to guide employee efforts, and (l) building systems and structures to support employee empowerment. The thirteenth factor of the model is a constant focus on the work, because without the work there is no real reason for empowerment. A review of the existing literature suggests a need for empirical research on empowerment concepts. This dissertation empirically investigated empowering leadership with two studies. The first focused on development of measures, while the second focused on model development. The measurement study supported the three general areas of ability, accountability, and authority, although the accountability area was weak. Results of the model examination study indicated that the model largely behaved as expected, but did require some modification. Based on the model exploration, four of the ...
Date: May 2005
Creator: Bodner, Sarah L.
Item Type: Thesis or Dissertation